The other day I was working alongside my partner when she showed me a macramé camera shoulder strap from etsy that she really liked. Unfortunately times are quite tough for everyone these days and that includes creative people – she is a photographer and T-shirt designers (HuiArt on instagram). So spending 30 euros on a new strap when she already had the one that came with her camera was out of the question.
I had never done macramé before and since I am always looking for an excuse to try out a new craft it was a great opportunity to please a special someone and to indulge in my curiosity.
The requirements for this project were the following:
- The length of the strap should be greater than the length of the original Canon strap. It should also be adjustable.
- It should be secure, we don’t want that camera dropping unexpectedly.
- It should be comfortable to wear even for extended periods of time.
- It should be visually appealing.
With that in mind, I started thinking about a design that fitted those criterion and that I could make with what I had in my drawers. I decided to go with a macramé belt connected to adjustable leather straps by D-rings. The belt will be made more comfortable with a slide-on leather shoulder pad.
The macramé belt
- Length: 650mm
- Width: 20mm
The adjustable straps
- Length: 350mm
- Width: 10mm
The shoulder pad
- Length: 180mm
- Width: 45mm
- Height of the slots: 25mm
- Width of the slots: 20mm
- Distance of the slot from the edge of the pad: 10mm
The final camera strap
- Total length: 135cm
I worked with what I had available. All in all this project required:
- 18 meters of cord (not sure of what it is made of. I got a big roll for 2 euros from the dollar store).
- 4 wooden beads.
- 2 D-rings (2.5cm).
- 4 rivets (10x5mm).
- The plastic adjustment thingys for the adjustable straps that I salvaged from her old canon strap.
- A piece of 3oz veg tanned calfskin.
- Leather dye.
- Leather finishing product.
- Contact cement.
- White flax thread au chinois.
The macramé belt
I browsed the tutorials on Youtube to find something that would suit what I had in mind.
I also wanted to find a pattern that would not be too complex to follow since this kind of knot work was new for me.
The tutorial video that I ended up following can be found in the footnotes.
The leather adjustable straps
I cut the two 350x10mm straps out of the calfskin.
They were then dyed in a mix of blue and hazelnut – I found that mixing in some blue gives brown colors a very interesting depth with the darker areas that it creates.
The position of the holes for the rivets were marked and I stamped a few details on.
The leather shoulder pad
The shoulder pad is made from two pieces of calfskin glued to each other.
Each piece has been dyed with the same mix of blue and hazelnul as the straps.
After gluing them on top of one another, I cut the two slots and punched the stitching holes before stitching the two pieces together.
The decorative feathers
I decided to add those after I had finished everything else as I thought that it would add a nice little detail to the ensemble.
Putting it all together
The last thing to do was to assemble the different parts together.
Holes where punched in the straps to accommodate the 4 rivets. Then I closed down the straps around the D-rings connected the the belt and set the rivets.
I salvaged the plastic pieces from the original Canon strap to make the adjustable leather straps…adjustable.
Only thing left to do was to slide the shoulder pad on the belt and attach the feathers to one of the D-rings.
All in all I am really happy about how this project turned out and so was my favorite photographer. It was a good way to learn some basics of macramé, which I am glad because I love crafts that don’t require a lot of tools or materials. I also really enjoy projects that combine different materials and skillets so this was a lot of fun.
The following online content provided some assistance and/or inspiration during the making of this project: